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Department of Public Policy & Administration College of Social Sciences & Interdisciplinary Studies

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Current Students in the Department of Public Policy and Administration

Our Mission

The Capital Campus's graduate programs in Public Policy and Administration prepare future leaders to address the complex issues that face California. We serve the State and the region by developing leaders with strong analytical tools and a deep commitment to public service.

PPA graphic mark

Our Master's Degree Programs

Master of Public Policy & Administration

The Master of Public Policy and Administration is an interdisciplinary program designed to equip its graduates with conceptual, analytic, and problem-solving skills and experiences enabling them to deal with public sector policy and administrative issues, problems, and opportunities.

The Sacramento State program differs from other similar programs in that it focuses on California state and local levels of government. This attractive feature is facilitated by the proximity of the Sacramento State campus to the main operations of the California state government. The proximity offers significant advantages to students in the program, providing them with a ready "laboratory" for observing the policy and administrative issues they will confront professionally and for gaining experience alongside existing practitioners in public policy and administration. In particular, the program’s internship feature is greatly strengthened by the placements available in California state government, local government and related organizations.

The program’s curricular design and scheduling of courses allow students to complete the program in four semesters if enrolled full-time. In addition, part-time students may complete the program under a five- or six-semester schedule. Classes are scheduled in the late afternoon and evening hours to accommodate the scheduling interests of students who are employed in the daytime or who have other obligations that require evening schedules. While most of our classes are offered on campus, some of our classes are located in downtown Sacramento (about six blocks from the State Capitol).

Master of Science in Urban Land Development

The Department of Public Policy and Administration offers the Master of Science in Urban Land Development. This program brings together the private and public aspects of real estate development and helps students develop skills related to land development in metropolitan areas. Our interdisciplinary program covers all major aspects of the development process including design, feasibility analysis, land use regulation, market and location analysis, and negotiation. Our graduates bridge the gap between professional training in fields such as city planning and public policy, and business administration. Graduates learn to understand the constraints and incentives faced by both the private and public sectors when making land use recommendations and decisions.

Certificate Programs

Collaborative Governance certificate

This certificate is available to graduate students at matriculated Sacramento State in the MPPA and MSULD programs.

To be eligible, students must be 1) currently matriculated MPPA or MSULD students, 2) have successfully completed PPA 200 and PPA 210, and 3) successfully completed the two Collaborative Governance Courses: PPA 270 Collaborative Policy and PPA 272 Collaborative Governance Advanced Practice. Open University students are not eligible. The Collaborative Governance courses can simultaneously fulfill MPPA and MSULD elective requirements.

In the final semester of Collaborative Governance certificate classes, students must file the following paperwork for the certificate to be awarded. Due dates are listed on the forms and Department approval signatures are required.

Judicial Administration certificate

This certificate is offered through the College for Continuing Education in partnership with the Department of Public Policy and Administration.

Applied Policy and Governance certificates

These certificates are awarded to Capital Fellows in the Executive Fellowship Program and the Judicial Administration Fellowship Program at the conclusion of their fellowship.

Public Policy & Administration Syllabi

  • Syllabi are posted for the current semester as available.
  • Textbook lists available at the University Bookstore.
  • Contact Department for copies of syllabi from years not listed.

Syllabi to Download
Course Semester/Year
PPA 200: Introduction to Public Policy and Administration f2019 | f2018 | f2017 | f2016 | f2015
PPA 205: Research in Public Policy and Administration f2019 | f2018 | f2017 | f2016 | f2015
PPA 207: Quantitative Methods in Public Policy and Administration s2020 | s2019 | s2018 | s2017 | s2016 | s2015
PPA 210: Political Environment of Policy Making s2020 | s2019 | s2018 | s2017 | s2016 | s2015
PPA 220A: Applied Economic Analysis I f2019 | f2018 | f2017 | f2016 | f2015
PPA 220B Applied Economic Analysis II s2020 | s2019 | s2018 | s2017 | s2016 | s2015
PPA 230: Public Budgeting and Finance f2019 | f2018 | f2017 | f2016 | f2015
PPA 240A Public Management and Administration I f2019 | f2018 | f2017 | f2016 | f2015
PPA 240B: Public Management and Administration I s2020 | s2019 | s2018 | s2017 | s2016 | s2015
PPA 251: Urban Problems, Economics and Public Policy s2019 | f2017 | s2016
PPA 270: Introduction to Collaborative Policy Making f2019 | f2018 | f2017 | f2016 | f2015
PPA 272: Collaborative Governance Advanced Practice s2020 | s2019 | s2018 | s2016 | s2015
PPA 297AB: Capital Fellows - Executive Fellows 2019-20 | 2018-19 | 2017-18 | 2016-17 | 2015-16
PPA 298AB: Capital Fellows - Judicial Administration Fellows 2019-20 | 2018-19 | 2017-18 | 2016-17 
PPA 500 Culminating Experience f2019 | f2018 | f2017 | f2016 | f2015
s2020 | s2019 FAQ | s2018 | s2017 | s2016 | s2015
Miscellaneous EdD 602 f2019 | EdD 602 f2017 | EdD 602 f2016
PPA 250 s2015
Govt 96 f2017 | Honr 0301 f2017 | Honr 0303 f2017 
PPA 296M s2020

MPPA Course Sequencing

The following table illustrates the recommended PPA course sequencing for MPPA graduate students. It is to be used as reference and is not a substitute for academic advising with a faculty member.

Please note that scheduling anomalies, such as summer classes, are not reflected here. Other scheduling permutations worked out with an advisor or the chair are acceptable.

With the exception of PPA 500, all of our core courses are offered once a year. Students must speak to a faculty advisor about internships.

MPPA Course Sequencing Table
Part Time (students enrolling in 6 or fewer units a semester)
  Fall semester Spring semester
1st Year PPA 200 Intro to PPA
PPA 220A Economics
PPA 210 Political Env.
PPA 220B Economics
2nd Year PPA 205 Research Methods
PPA 240A Public Mgmt
PPA 207 Quant. Analysis
PPA 240B Public Mgmt
3rd Year elective
PPA 230 Public Budgeting
PPA 500 Culminating Exp.
Full Time (students enrolling in more than 6 units a semester)
  Fall semester Spring semester
1st Year PPA 200 Intro to PPA
PPA 220A Economics
PPA 205 Research Methods
PPA 210 Political Env.
PPA 220B Economics
PPA 207 Quant. Analysis
2nd Year elective
PPA 240A Public Mgmt
PPA 230 Public Budgeting
PPA 240B Public Mgmt
PPA 500 Culminating Exp.
Courses that must be sequenced
PPA 220A and PPA 220B
PPA 240A and PPA 240B
Courses with strongly recommended sequencing
PPA 205 and PPA 207
PPA 230 towards end of program
PPA 270 and PPA 272 (electives)
Standalone Electives
PPA 251 and PPA 284
Course Sequencing Printable Chart
Class Schedule
MPPA Catalog

Our Listservs

Student Listserv

For MPPA and MSULD students and Department personnel only.
We send LOTS of information to our students about University deadlines, classroom happenings, student internships and job, social events, and other items only our graduate students would find interesting. We initially subscribe our new students to the student listserv, with the expectation that they will thereafter manage their subscription. Subscription to this list requires Department approval.

Student Listserv

Alumni Listserv

For MPPA and MSULD alumni and Department personnel only.
As our students graduate, we move them to our alumni listserv. This is the listserv where we post information about our social events, relevant jobs postings, and other announcements (no more University deadlines!). Alumni may subscribe and manage their subscriptions here. Subscription to this list requires Department approval.

Alumni Listserv

Prospective Student Listserv

Prospective students can stay in the loop by joining our Prospective Student Listserv. The messages we will send you include application deadlines, information and recruitment sessions, and Department social events (for networking!). You can sign yourself up and manage your own subscription.

Prospective Student Listserv

Friends of PPA Listserv

Our friends listserv is anyone with a general interest in the Department of Public Policy and Administration at Sacramento State. We post about select social events and other general PPA announcements here. Anyone may subscribe to our friends list.

Friends of PPA Listserv

Need help with your listserv subscription? Contact the Department at (916) 278-6557 or

MSULD Foundation Courses


An overall GPA of at least 3.0 ("B") is required in all foundation courses taken at Sacramento State, and program requirement courses presented for the degree.

Students who have completed all or most of the foundation courses will be required to take certain foundation courses if they have:

  1. failed to complete one or more of the required courses,
  2. less than an overall 3.0 GPA in the required courses,
  3. a "C" or lower grade in any comparable undergraduate course requirements,
  4. cannot demonstrate currency in these courses, or
  5. completed a bachelor's degree at a non-AACSB accredited institution.
Foundation Courses offered at Sacramento State (up to 6 units)

(3) ECON 1B Introduction to Microeconomic Analysis*

(3) FIN 101 Business Finance*

*Equivalent courses may be substituted with approval of the program director.

Time Limit

All work toward a master's degree, including transferred credits, course work, and thesis, must be completed within seven years. This time limit is required of all master's candidates in the California State University (other institutions of higher education across the country have similar deadlines).

The Office of Graduate Studies 916-278-6470 determines the official seven-year deadline for each student as that student advances to candidacy.

Occasionally an extraordinary situation will arise whereby a student will want to challenge the time limit. The burden to establish currency of an expired course (a course completed more than seven years ago) falls to the student. In such a case the petition for currency form would be used to request a one semester extension beyond the limit.

Title 5 of the California Administrative Code of Regulations is where you can find the relevant language.


PPA 295, Internship Public Policy and Administration Internships are required for students who lack sufficient professional administrative or analytic experience. At the discretion of the Program Director, the internship may be waived for students with six months of administrative and analytical work experience who are currently employed in a full-time professional capacity in the field of Public Policy and Administration. If an internship is required it will bring the total unit requirement for the degree to 39. (3 units)

NOTE: An internship proposal and paper is required of each student taking this course.

Culminating Experience

PPA 500, Culminating Experience A master's project or thesis comprises the program's culminating experience. Undertaken during the final semester, the project entails a thorough analysis of a policy or administrative issue, applying the interdisciplinary methods and perspectives the student has acquired in the core and elective curriculum. Only one other core course may be taken in the same semester as PPA 500. (3 units)

2019 New Student Advising Meetings

Congratulations and Welcome!

We are pleased to count you among those admitted to the MPPA and MS/ULD graduate programs at Sacramento State.

Prior to enrolling in classes, all new students must receive academic advising. Attending one of our advising meetings not only takes care of your advising needs, but also gives you a chance to meet other new students in your cohort before your first day of class.

Check your MySacState Account

  • New graduate students enroll for Fall 2019 classes from June 10th through August 6th, 2019.
  • Details about your enrollment appointment are available at your MySacState account .
  • Make sure to go to your MySacState account to indicate your intent to enroll. Your deadline is on your admission letter (email) from Graduate Studies. Missing your deadline may forfeit your spot. Contact Graduate Studies 916-278-6470 if you run into problems with this process. (For those who decline admission, we thank you for the courtesy of a reply and wish you the best of luck in the future.)

About Your Advising Meeting

What to expect:
  • The meeting will last about one hour.
  • Who attends: Up to about 15 new students and one to two Department advisors.
  • Where is it: Sac State Downtown, Room 315, 304 S Street, Sacramento, CA
  • What to bring: Questions, your prerequisite grade report or class schedule (if required and if available).
  • Topics covered: The agenda will include a program overview, planning your class schedule, and navigating graduate education at Sacramento State. We will post advising meeting handouts in the table below for you as they are available.
Directions and Parking:

Sac State Downtown is located at 304 S Street, Sacramento, CA. Directions

Parking and Transportation information is available at

Schedule Your Advising Meeting

We've completed the advising for the Fall 2019 incoming class.

You only need to attend one advising meeting.
These meetings are only for new MPPA and MS/ULD students admitted for Fall 2019.

2019 New Student Handouts

2019 New Student Table of handouts
Handouts On-line Recourses
Department Handouts University Handouts
2019 Agenda 

Campus Map
Internship waiverproposal Campus Map (interactive)
Pizza Picnic -- August 2019

Career Center
Advance to Candidacy
CA Intern Network
PPA Curriculum  
ULD Curriculum
Dreamer Resource Center
PPA 200 Memo and Reading List Fall 2019 Fees 2019-2020
PPA Schedule:
Fall 2019 | Spring 2020
Financial Aid and Scholarships
Wassmer's Recommendations (revised 6/5/2017) Hornet Shuttle
Thesis Bank University Library   
Services for Students  
Graduate Study Rooms & Lockers
  Services for Students with Disabilities
  UTAPS (University Transportation and Parking Services)
  Veterans Success Center
  The Well


Graduate Association of Students of Public Policy and Administration

2019-2020 Board Members photo of 2019 GASPPA Board

(left to right)
Liz Delgado - Vice President
Annie Meier - Communications Director
Rachel Croopnick - President
Michael Adamski - Finance Director
Alex McCreddin - Academic Director

GASPPA is our highly energetic and enthusiastic student organization.

The mission of the Graduate Association of Students in Public Policy and Administration (GASPPA) is to provide support to the Masters of Public Policy and Administration(MPPA) and Masters of Urban and Land Development programs at California State University, Sacramento.

photo of students at our spring event 2016

GASPPA seeks to:

  • Provide social, professional, and intellectual support for students pursuing a degree or certificate in the Department of Public Policy and Administration;
  • Promote interaction between students, faculty and alumni;
  • Provide career-oriented programs for MPPA students; and
  • Identify and pursue opportunities to develop traditions and branding to promote the program

email GASPPA

GASPPA on Facebook

Instagram @sacstate_gasppa

Twitter @sacstategasppa

Graduate Student Advisory Council

The Graduate Student Advisory Council (GSAC) represents university graduate students and serves as the student advisory group to the Dean and ASI Director of Graduate Studies.

Graduation with Distinction

The College of Social Science and Interdisciplinary Studies recognizes master's students who are graduating with distinction. To qualify for this honor a master's student must have an overall grade point average of at least 3.8 and have completed a culminating project that the faculty considers distinctive.

List of SSIS Graduation with Distinction Award Recipients
Year SSIS Graduation with Distinction Award Recipients
2017-2018 Erin Stumpf, MPPA
2017-2018 Imaez Wahid, MPPA
2016-2017 Katrina Beedy, MPPA
2016-2017 Kara Corches, MPPA
2016-2017 Katerina Robinson, MPPA
2015-2016 Ginger Hashimoto, MPPA
2015-2016 Damien Mimnaugh, MPPA
2013-2014 Andrea Howard, MSULD
2013-2014 Arianna Smith, MPPA

Cristy Jensen Award

In 1989, Professor Emerita Cristy Jensen founded the graduate program in Public Policy and Administration as it is today. Dr. Jensen was the 2007 recipient of the prestigious John C. Livingston Award. The lecture, delivered on October 30, 2007 and entitled "Faculty As Academic Leaders: Our Students Are Counting on Us (Whether They Know It or Not)", is available here.

Upon her retirement in 2007, the Department of Public Policy and Administration created the Distinguished Graduate Award in her honor. Affectionately known as the Cristy Jensen Award, MPPA students selected for this honor exhibited throughout their graduate careers the qualities Dr. Jensen valued most:

  • academic achievement
  • active involvement in the PPA community
  • peer mentoring
  • demonstrated leadership
  • professionalism

Each Cristy Jensen Award recipient is selected at the end of a given academic year from those MPPA students who completed their culminating experience in that year.

Cristy Jensen Award Recipients
Year Cristy Jensen Award Recipient
2018-2019 Amelia Gomez, MPPA
2017-2018 Erin Stumpf, MPPA
2016-2017 Kara Corches, MPPA
2015-2016 Ginger Hashimoto, MPPA co-awardee
2015-2016 Damien Mimnaugh, MPPA co-awardee
2014-2015 Terra Thorne, MPPA
2013-2014 Sergio Aguilar, MPPA
2012-2013 Katie Cardenas, MPPA co-awardee
2012-2013 Angela Marin, MPPA co-awardee
2011-2012 Eric Chisholm, MPPA co-awardee
2011-2012 Andrew Sturmfels, MPPA co-awardee
2010-2011 Eric Stern, MPPA
2009-2010 Joe Karkoski, MPPA co-awardee
2009-2010 Geoffrey Propheter, MPPA co-awardee
2008-2009 Lindsay Keyes, MPPA
2007-2008 Danell Brewster, MPPA
2006-2007 Jean-Marie McKinney, MPPA

Cristy Jensen Livingston Lecture

Other Awards and Recognition

Student Research Competitions

MS/ULD student, Ryan Sharpe, won the 2018 Gloria Rummels Award for “paper demonstrating the best use of quantitative data” at the Social Science Research & Instructional Council research competition.

PPA student, Ginger Hashimoto, won the 2016 Gloria Rummels Award for “paper demonstrating the best use of quantitative data” at the Social Science Research & Instructional Council research competition.

PPA student, Terra Thorne, won the 2015 30th Annual CSU Student Research Competition.

PPA student, Jodi Lewis, won the 2014 Student Research Symposium at Sacramento State and the Social Science Research & Instructional Council research competition.

PPA student, Lucinda Winward, won the 2007 Gloria Rummels Award for “paper demonstrating the best use of quantitative data” at the Social Science Research & Instructional Council research competition.

Distinguished Alumni Awards

Two MPPA Alumni were honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards in 2014.

  • Keri Thomas, MPPA '06
  • James P. Mayer, MPPA '92